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Bless This House (1995)
This show was awesome that never really got a chance from Dice haters!!!
This was a pleasantly surprisingly funny sitcom that came out in 1995. The Honeymooners feel of this show worked. I thought the chemistry between Dice and Cathy Moriarty was the perfect Ralph & Alice. And Andrew Clay wasn't Dice in this show. He reminded me of plenty of the Jewish/Italian dads I knew growing up in New York City. They worked hard, seemed annoyed with life at times, but truly loved their wife and kids. And Lenny & Phyllis were Trudy & Ed Norton.
Unfortunately, before this show even premiered, people were boycotting it because "Dice" was in it. So stupid people were not to give this a chance. It was funny and real. Problem was we were in the middle of a politcally correct time. People complained, CBS buckled, and the show was no more. What a shame...it was one of the few new shows in 1995 that I loved.
Incidentally, one of the few people who actually gave Dice a chance was my Dad. HE HATED DICE!!! But he watched the pilot and enjoyed it greatly. He was as upset as I was when the show was cancelled prematurely.
From what I remember, I liked this show!
I was only 10 years old when this show debuted, but I remember liking it a lot. Would love to see an episode now to see if it is what I remember. Although, this is one of those sitcoms that will sit in a vault and never re-appear.
Always liked Maclean Stephenson, especially on M*A*S*H...but I am not sure he was anything more than a great member of an ensemble cast. But the networks were so certain to launch him into his own show. Most of them were horrible failures, but this one I thought actually had promise.
A decent comedy and cast...that was a mid-season replacement show if I remember correctly. This is now common, but unusual back in 1983.
That Was Then (2002)
Not as good as "Do Over"
It was nice to see that the networks both decided to do the exact same show this season. "That Was Then" and "Do Over" are almost mirror images of each other, with both pilots storylines being remarkedly similar. There are three differences. "Do Over" is 30 minutes, versus an hour for "That Was Then". "Do Over" is a sitcom..."That Was Then" goes for the drama-comedy. "Do Over" is the early 1980s versus the late 80s in "That Was Then."
The half hour format seems to work better for these shows. "Do Over" was fun and quick moving. "That Was Then" tended to drag (at least the pilot so far.) I love time travel stuff, but I found myself bored during "That Was Then" at times. Hopefully it will improve. Otherwise, I don't see ABC giving it much chance. How much chance can it really be getting at 9 PM on Friday night?
Do Over (2002)
My wife and I (her 32, me 29) enjoyed the first episode of the show. It was great nostalgia of high school in the early 1980s. (Granted some of the music didn't match up with the year 1981.) But it was enjoyable. It brought the enjoyment that we thought last years "That 80s Show" would bring. Of course "That 80s Show" was horrible!!! This show, so far, is doing it right. And since we were both HUGE fans of "Freaks & Geeks", it was nice to see Cindy Sanders and Coach Fredricks in this show. Watch the show and support it...maybe for once a network will allow a good show to last!
Jason X (2001)
One of the better ones of the 10 movies
First off, I've been a huge Friday the 13th fan for many many years. And I was one of the few people in the theater who was old enough to remember all of them. (I am 29 years old...a lot of 16 year olds who said they are excited to see Jason 'X'. I didn't have the heart to tell them it is really Jason Ten and that the X is a Roman numeral for it being the 10th Friday the 13th movie. Ah, the state of education these days...)
Anyway, before I saw the movie, I didn't like the idea of going 450 years into the future for killing in space. I am an old fashioned guy who likes Crystal Lake and the cabins. But I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. There were some interesting killings, some good laughs, and some good nostalgia (mentioning earlier films to a degree.)
However, I guess the Friday the 13th series is no longer a horror genre. This movie, I would not call a horror film...but a Sci-Fi slasher picture. There wasn't much scarry in the film. Unlike the earlier films where there was "suspense" and even though I knew someone would die, I would jump from fear when Jason showed up. There was none of that in Jason X. And I think I discovered why...
In earlier films, Part II, Part III, and Part IV (we don't include part I and part V since it wasn't Jason), Jason was "killable" and more of a "man". So Jason had to be sneaky, like a boogie man who lived in the shadows. People doubted if he really existed and was just a wives tale. (Kinda like Mr. Snufalupagus (sp?) on Sesame Street...at least in the old days. I haven't watched Sesame Street in a long time, but people tell me that everyone sees him now.) This made him scarry.
Nowadays, everyone sees him and knows he is "unkillable". Hence, the horror suspense is not there. He's just a constant machine who doesn't hide and doesn't seem human. (The human characteristic was the best part in earlier movies.)
Now, back to Jason X. If this had been a pure sci-fi movie, without the slasher stuff, it would have made a great sci-fi movie. I would've loved to investigate and discover what occured over the past 450 years of mankind. Being 450 years into the future bring up interesting technological inventions, and my personal opinion is that Jason X handled them somewhat realistically. (Others may disagree.) Unlike typical movies in the future where they have inventions like time travel, worm hole creation, etc. This movie tried to be more realistic. It would not surprise me that in 450 we have great virtual reality and the ability to re-generate body tissue or the ability to stop an cut quickly and reattach a limb at a later time. I like the cryogenic side too.
The beginning, with Jason chained up, and then switching places with the guard and killing everyone I thought was too predictable of an opening and started on a bad foot (luckily the predictable stuff ended there for a while.) The only other badly predictable part was Jason coming back to life during the autopsy. We saw this already at the beginning of Part IV and a somewhat similar thing in the beginning of Part VI and Part IX. But I guess there was no other way to do it. Except if Jason was left alone and he came back to life. I would have loved to see a human side to Jason where he is confused by being in the future and not on earth. But oh well.
I thought the characters were interesting in this one. They were the most interesting people since Tommy Jarvis in Part VI. The virtual reality camp crystal lake at the end was perfect!!! And the two topless young girls to occupy Jason were hilarious. "We gonna drink and smoke pot and maybe have some sex. We'll just be in the sleeping bags right now." That was classic and great comedy relief and a great tribute to earlier movies. I was expected one of two things when the Virtual Reality camp crystal lake. I was hoping that they would VR Pamela Vorhees (Jason's mother) to the campsite. It would have made Jason more human again, and we know deep down Jason was a "Mama's Boy". The other thing they could have done was VR either Tommy Jarvis from part VI or Adrienne King from Part I & II or others from earlier films to confuse or occupy Jason. But they went for the more commic relief. Plus, I never mind seeing a couple of young girl's breasts.
The ending promised our typical setup for another movie on Planet Earth 2 (I assume) at a campsite. It was expected, but done well. If you're a fan of the genre or just the Friday the 13th movies, I would suggest going to see it for 2 reasons. 1) It's a pretty entertaining and interesting movie. 2) If it does well enough at the box office, we are certain the see the long awaited movie "Freddy -vs- Jason". New Line Cinema has been working on the project for a while, but are waiting to see how well Jason X does in the theaters.
In future Friday movies, I'd love to see a "prequel" of sorts. Explain what happened to Jason's father. What happened from the 1950s until the early 1980s when Jason started killing in Part II. And so on.
My Friday The 13th Ranking System. (Best to Worst)
1) Part VI: Jason Lives. Great story, great characters.
2) Part I: The original...but no Jason until the end. But great suspense.
3) Part IX: The director's cut is so gruesome, but great story.
4) Jason X: Yes, this actually makes it up to #4 on the list.
5) Part III: The 3-D was campy and dated. But this in my mind was the scariest of all the Friday the 13th movies. I saw this when I was 10 years old and I couldn't sleep for weeks after. I just kept seeing that scene where Chris (who was one of the cutest Friday girls ever) after she hangs Jason walks up to his dangling corpse and Jason awakes, lifting his hockey mask, and flashing that dimented smile.
6) Part IV: The beginning of Tommy Jarvis!!!
7) Part VII: I didn't get into the whole Tina thing.
8) Part II: Basically a re-hashing of Part I with Jason doing the killing instead.
9) Part VIII: Jason takes Manhattan was terrible. I assumed this was the end of the Friday series. Luckily New Line bought the rights from Paramount and Sean S. Cunningham came back. This movie was so bad that Sean S. Cunningham started Part IX to begin after Part VII and just ignored the 8th. (I read also that Sean S. Cunningham said Part IX really starts after Part II...because he didn't like any of the sequels after the 2nd. Hence that's why we don't hear any reference to Tina or Tommy Jarvis in the last two movies.) This movie was terrible. Jason didn't end up in New York until the very end of the movie. The New Yorkers, one of which I am, were so cliche. And I never saw Nuclear Waste in the sewers. Hmmmmm.
10) Part V: One reason. No Jason. Stupid plot of some guy killing like Jason for revenge. Only good scene was the part where the guy is killed in the Port-A-Potty.
That '80s Show (2002)
I am a child of the 1980s. I was 7 years old in 1980 and 16 in 1989. This show is terrible. All it does is try to find humor in mocking every fad and fashion of the 1980s. If That 70's Show relied on this, it would have been off the air quickly.
Let me explain... That 70's Show uses the 1970s as a backdrop for a sitcom about people. The oddities of the 1970s are secondary to the story line. (Much like Happy Days was with the 1950s.)
That 80's Show uses the 1980s as it main focus of humor by making fun of everything. And unfortunately, they don't do that funny either. Seeing people sing along to Pat Benatar, talk about having a cell phone, and wearing zebra pants is funny? After the first episode, I said to my wife, "Well, it won't be long until they have a scene where the people are singing alone to Dexy's Midnight Runners." And guess what, I was proved right by week #4 where three of the main characters drive in a car and sing along to "Come On Eileen".
FOX should be ashamed of itself if it leaves this crap on the air. It is amazing that this piece of junk will probably survive, yet FOX will probably cancel a great and funny show called "Undeclared". But then again, we've learned many times that network executives don't know anything about funny and good shows.
By the way, does That 80's Show have the most loud and obnoxious laugh track you've ever heard?